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Sunday 20 October 2019
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Letters to the Editor

A name change won’t do the trick

THE EDITOR: I don’t think much thought went into the impending closure of CNMG and reopening of TTT. A name change, by itself, does not mean instant success. There is a lot more to be considered than just that.

Back in the days of TTT there were no other television stations, and no cable providers with a hundred-plus channels from which to choose. Two and thirteen — that was it.

TTT’s broadcast output contained about 30 per cent local programming: Twelve and Under, Mainly for Women, Parade, Riki Tikki, Through the Eyes of Tomorrow, Panorama, Scouting for Talent, Community Dateline, The Game Show, Play of the Month, Teen Talent and Show Case, just to name a few; with most of these programmes being no longer than one hour’s duration.

The foreign programming contained shows such as Young and Restless, which at the time was the most popular show on television, Charlie’s Angels, and the rest of the day’s transmission made up of other foreign content.

In TTT’s heyday, Trinidad had a vibrant recording industry that was rolling out music weekly, some of which have become today’s classics, that helped a great deal in producing material for local programming. Trinidad even had its own record pressing plant (KH). The cultural field was alive and this fed and manifested itself in what viewers and listeners were exposed too.

One can say that foreign shows such as America’s Got Talent and Dancing with the Stars are 21st century versions of Teen Talent, Scouting for Talent and Ballroom Dancing etc. How sad it is that with the expansion of the electronic media no one could have taken those ideas and concepts to advance standards that could have generated viewers and buy in from advertisers. The staff at TTT, at the time, was very professional, and management ensured that programmes were of a certain standard before they went on the air.

Times have changed, and to bring back TTT with the legacy it left would entail much hard work with lots of dedication and totally professional personnel. The now-for-now programming that we experience today did not exist at the time. Programmes were well researched, edited, and presented — something sadly lacking in the current electronic media today.

So if the plan is merely to change the name from CNMG to TTT, rehire personnel, and go mainly local, we may well be looking at the birth of yet another failed venture.



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